About the Presentation

It is widely accepted that the adolescent presents a number of difficult challenges for even the most well-meaning professional practitioner. The matter becomes even more serious and scrutinized when it involves the more disturbed individual who is often desperately attempting to reach out for help through very severe expressions of action-oriented behavior (‘acting out’). The seriousness and level of scrutiny goes to still another level when one considers the number of violent incidents that have taken place in our schools over the past 25 years.

Important issues related to both the development and enhancement of a good working alliance with the adolescent through numerous clinical case examples will be discussed. The presentation will be structured in a way that will utilize a long list of incidents to illustrate the relevant clinical issues related to the treatment of adolescents. Included will be a series of vignettes illustrating how specific resistances to the treatment were successfully handled. Significant emphasis will be placed on the overall importance of the ability to set limits and the various techniques that may be utilized in achieving this.

About the Presenter

Peter J. LaBarbera has been a practicing Psychoanalyst in private practice in Manhattan since 1988. For a period of 27 years he also worked as a school social worker in the high schools of New York City, treating approximately 3,000 students. He was also a championship baseball coach who developed a number of excellent high school players who were drafted by Major League Baseball and went on to sign professional contracts. He is an instructor at The New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis.

 Learning Objectives

·        How timely and appropriate limit setting is the key to unlocking the door to resistance with the adolescent.

·        How the clinician insisting on honesty at all times sets the tone for the development of a good working alliance.

·        How group work is the most effective modality for working with adolescents in a wide range of settings.

·        How utilizing a structured schedule when working with adolescents in groups can allow for the development of an enhanced level of intimacy for all group members through the experience of positive peer interaction.

·        How the maintenance of confidentiality with the clinician and other group members allows the groundwork to be established for ongoing trust and effectively functional working alliances.

·        How understanding and implementing the concept of “Holding Environment” can serve as a model for good clinical practice with adolescents.

·        How the experience of being  accepted by both the clinician and their own peer group can lead to the enhanced capacity for the adolescent to accept him/ her self with a reduced tendency for self-destructive behavior.